Consulting Biologists


        Ralston & Associates (R&A) has a broad range of experience conducting fish and benthic macroinvertebrate monitoring. Most of the studies were conducted to determine baseline conditions and to monitor project-specific impacts related to development activities.

        Fish inventory techniques  include backpack, as well as boat-equipped electrofishing, gill nets, hoop nets, minnow traps, and set lines. Fish habitat evaluations can be conducted using SCUBA equipment. R&A has an 18-foot, outboard-jet powered electrofishing boat which can be set up for electrofishing at night. The boat can be quickly converted for SCUBA diving use, including an on-board tank-fill compressor. R&A conducted an intense field data collection effort to assess the fish community and aquatic habitat at Oxbow Dam on the Snake River near Hell's Canyon. The field work involved night electrofishing, gill netting, set lines, and the use of hoop nets and minnow traps. Fish habitat and substrate were evaluated using SCUBA equipment.

R&A has conducted fish investigations for use in preparing FERC license applications for hydropower projects on the main stem of the Snake River at Idaho Falls, Eagle Rock (below American Falls), Milner, Star Falls, Auger Falls, Boulder Rapids, Kanaka Rapids, and Oxbow Dam. A fish survey was also conducted on the North Fork of the Payette River for a 258 mW facility.
R&A has conducted benthic macroinvertebrate and water quality investigations and analysis of project impacts for many of the projects listed above, in addition to two major Clean Lakes Program projects.

R&A has conducted sampling surveys of the Upper Snake River for the presence of the endangered Utah valvata snail. The endangered snails were found in several new locations from Jackson Bridge (Rm 669) to American Falls Dam (RM 714).


    Photos by John Ybarra


Aquatic Habitat Survey of Selected Streams in Cassia County,Idaho, for the Burley District, Bureau of Land Management

Blacksmith Fork Creek Aquatic Habitat Enhancement Project for James M. Montgomery, Consulting Engineers, Inc.

Aquatic Habitat Monitoring of the Thunder Mountain Mining Project for Coeur-Thunder Mountain, Inc.

Fish and Aquatic Habitat Monitoring on Napias Creekat the Beartrack Mining Project for Meridian Gold Company.

Threatened and endangered mollusc surveys of the Auger Falls Project Reach, the City of Idaho Falls' Shelley Hydroelectric project reach, and the City of Twin Falls drinking water supply system expansion with  Konopacky Environmental.

Survey for Endangered Species Act listed Molluscs (Utah valvata) at selected locations on the Upper Snake River for the Bureau of Reclamation.

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